After four cities in Maine approved such bans, State Sen. Jill Duson, D-Portland, is expected to submit a bill proposing a tobacco flavour ban statewide.
If the ban goes through, Maine would join a group of US states including Massachusetts, New Jersey and New York, with such a restriction in place. Spokesperson for the Flavors Hook Kids Maine advocacy group, Dan Cashman, said that state Sen. Jill Duson, D-Portland, is expected to submit a bill that would include the ban shortly.
“This is critical,” Cashman said. “Maine can’t afford to wait. Every day Maine kids are being lured to tobacco products with these marketing tactics and youth-oriented flavors being sold. These are dangerously addictive products.”
Why flavour bans don’t work
Meanwhile, a study looking into San Francisco’s vape flavour ban reported alarming findings. Titled, “The Impact of a Comprehensive Tobacco Flavour Ban in San Francisco Among Young Adults,” the current study was conducted with the aim of determining the impact of the ban on tobacco use behavior. A sample of 247 San Francisco residents were surveyed about their e-cigarette and tobacco use, before and after the flavour ban.
The study found that while the ban did lead to a decline in e-cigarettes and cigars sales, it sadly also caused a spike in smoking rates. Additionally, the researchers found that the measure was not enforced properly and 65% of the participants reported being able to obtain flavoured products in multiple ways.
“These findings suggest that comprehensive local flavor bans, by themselves, cannot sharply reduce the availability or use of flavored tobacco products among residents. Nevertheless, local bans can still significantly reduce overall e-cigarette use and cigar smoking but may increase cigarette smoking,” concluded the study.